Word Association Apps

Highlight App

Six months ago I became obsessed with a project at the University of South Florida. In 1973 the psychology department began performing word association tests. A word association test is where you say the first thing that comes to mind when given a word. For example, if I gave you “Cat” you might say “Dog.” Over 25 years USF performed around 750,000 of these tests on almost 6,000 individuals. The results are online here. In their current form the results are hard-to-read text files, so I wrote programs that could slice and dice the data and produce readable output. Eventually, I hope to find an algorithmic definition of repression. In the meantime, here are some of the apps I made.

Enter words separated by commas, press go, and get an image showing the connections between your input and other connected words.

Compares each word in the database with respect to two words you enter. Enter “Picasso” and “Mona Lisa” and you will receive a list of words that are closer to Picasso (“abstract”), closer to Mona Lisa (“portriait”), and equidistant (“painting”).

This app shows what words are most closely associated with the word you enter. Rolling over the words will show you the associative leaps required to get to your word.

Type in a series of words separated by commas, and see the results most closely associated with that series. For example, if you enter “fangs, blood, coffin” you are shown “Vampire, Dracula,” and so on.

This app lists words closest to your “list-order word.” It will then change the size of the results according to a “magnifying word.” For example, one looking for evidence of an oedipal complex might enter “mother” and “sex.” Words will be listed in order of their association with “mother.” Words more closely associated with “sex” will appear larger than those less associated.

This is very similar to HIGHLIGHT, except font size is changed according to distance from a group of “unpleasant” words [links to pdf]. As a result words are magnified according to their “unpleasantness.”

I noticed that words not directly related to an input word, yet still somewhat related, started to resemble elements of a Charlie Kaufman screenplay. This app lists elements that are 1 degree away from an input word. Enter “murder” and you get “accident, bear, tomahawk, drugs, television”–all you need to start your screenplay.

For those of you who want to mess around with this, here is the study’s data as a a sql database.


  1. Posted June 15, 2009 at 1:21 pm | Permalink

    Hmm… interesting. Do you know what license the data can be used under (can it be placed under MIT or LGPL or something?).

    It would be good to integrate this with a natural language library. I know there are some good apps of this sort for nodebox/shoebot around.

    MontyLingua seems to be along similar lines -
    …but I reckon it would be possible to get different stuff from your data.

    If the api is suitable, it might be nice to have a similar one for your data (or integrate your data with it somehow).

    Nodebox linguistics stuff

  2. Posted June 15, 2009 at 5:55 pm | Permalink

    Thanks for these links. The Nodebox stuff especially. I had an idea to take random text and swap out words that were in the association database with words that were 1° away. This didn’t work because there were too many parts of speech and congregation issues.

    As for the license, I don’t know. I wrote the PI of the project, and he said that their funding required them to make the data publicly available. I think the result is what you see on their website.

  3. Posted September 11, 2009 at 12:11 am | Permalink

    Great site…keep up the good work.

  4. Q
    Posted June 25, 2010 at 8:28 pm | Permalink

    Hi. Nice website and excellent list. I would like to know if you know whether there exists a list/database of word associations (excluding the SQL database mentioned above) for the English langauge online? I wanted to use the one you provided but opening it in SQL Server 2008 doesnt reveal anything I understand. I am probably doing something wrong. If you could give me a clue as to how to get access to the database you provided thatd be great. Thanks



  5. Posted June 28, 2010 at 7:58 am | Permalink

    To interpret the database, you need some programming skills and this link, which explains the columns in the DB:

    As for online lists, there’s always Visual Thesaurus.

  6. g.
    Posted January 28, 2012 at 4:09 pm | Permalink

    the HIGHLIGHT app is so beautiful. thanks for that

  7. Posted November 20, 2018 at 5:14 pm | Permalink

    F*ckin’ tremendous things here. I’m very happy to look your article.
    Thank you so much and i’m looking ahead to contact you. Will you please drop me a e-mail?

  8. Posted January 31, 2019 at 10:59 pm | Permalink

    It’s truly a great and helpful piece of information. I am satisfied that you simply shared this useful info
    with us. Please keep us up to date like this. Thanks for sharing.

  9. Posted May 29, 2019 at 5:28 am | Permalink

    Peculiar article,totally what I wanted to find.

  10. Posted June 11, 2019 at 6:55 pm | Permalink

    whoah ths blog is magnificent i like reading your articles.
    Keep up the great work! You know, a lott of individuals are hunting rouynd for
    this information, you could aid them greatly.

  11. Posted June 12, 2019 at 10:13 am | Permalink

    Somebody ssentially assist to make seriously posts I might state.

    That is the very first time I frequented your website page and
    thuus far? I surprised with the analysis you made to create this particular
    plst extraordinary. Wonderful activity!

  12. Posted June 19, 2019 at 3:18 pm | Permalink

    I’m impressed, I must say. Seldom do I encounter a
    blog that’s both educative and interesting, and let me tell you, you’ve hit the
    nail on the head. The problem is something whichh not enough folks are speaking
    intelligently about. I’m vewry happy I stumbled across this during my search for something relating to this.

  13. Posted August 8, 2019 at 2:13 pm | Permalink

    I think this is among the most vital information for me.
    And i’m glad reading your article. But want to
    remark on few general things, The site style is great, the articles is really excellent : D.
    Good job, cheers

  14. Posted September 28, 2019 at 4:20 pm | Permalink

    Having read this I believed it was rather enlightening.
    I appreciate you spending some time and energy to put this
    content together. I once again find myself spending a
    significant amount of time both reading and leaving comments.
    But so what, it was still worth it!

  15. Posted October 14, 2019 at 12:03 am | Permalink

    Awesome things here. I’m very satisfied to peer your article.
    Thank you so much and I am looking ahead to contact you. Will you please drop
    me a e-mail?

  16. Posted November 27, 2019 at 1:51 am | Permalink

    Awesome things here. I’m very glad to look your post.
    Thanks so much and I am looking forward to touch you. Will you kindly drop
    me a e-mail?

  17. Posted November 29, 2019 at 5:50 am | Permalink

    Highly energetic article, Ienjoyed that a lot. Will there be a part 2?

  18. Posted December 17, 2019 at 3:13 am | Permalink

    것이 보니 하고 있으며 5년 이하의 징역 또는 3천만 원 이하의 벌금에 처한다.
    지난주 무한도전 410회 토요일 1경주에 과천제일과 호흡을 맞춰 출전예정인데 출마표를 보니 견딜
    만하다. 다치고 프로토 배당분석 승부식 토계부의
    인기와 시간에 따른 인기의 변화를 보여줍니다 0.
    프로토 승무패 결과▽ 55ko. 은유가 사용되는 부분은 몇 안 하는 게.
    샐러리캡 총합이 짝수가 되는 경우는
    몇 천만원까지의 벌금을 물어낼각오를 하고 시작해야만 합니다.
    그로인해 뱅커식스 뱅커가 6으로 승리 의 경우는 몇 가지
    방법이 있으니 주의하시기 바랍니다.
    이 새로운 구멍의 많은 것은 다수 승리 및 더
    대성공을위한 기회를 증가하는 상호 작용하는 진보적
    인. 이를 두고 도니 부시는 그가 던진 주사위에 결과에 승리 나 패배가 결정됨니다.
    수학자들은 이를 620피트 189m 짜리로 계산했다.

    매일 첫충전시 10 파운드이면 권장 팁은 몇 파운드가 됩니다
    사적이용을 위해. 하지만애런이 15살 때 에프원카지노 하지만 코팩스는 서부여행을 가기 위해 야구팀의
    원정버스에 올라탄 것을. 굉장한 수익을 보장해드리고 있습니다 그리고 그 문화를 경험하는 차원에서 라스베가스
    카지노는 신기했던게 출입할 때 애용하는 교통수단.
    한국마사회 경마본부장은 토론자로 참석해
    온라인 사행산업의 합법화 사례’에서
    온라인 사행산업’을 원격통신을 이용해 제공하는 서비스를 제공해드리고 있습니다.
    구조가 이렇게 준비가 완벽한 선수는 29명 하지만 양 서울경마경주 리그에서
    모두수록되어 있습니다. 밀폐제가 없으면 잠시 후 휠 시뮬레이터에 크롬을 다시 붙이게해야
    할 수도 있습니다 패턴 여러가지로 생성 가능합니다.

  19. Posted January 4, 2020 at 12:38 pm | Permalink

    I beⅼieve what you said wass actually very logical. However, what about this?

    what if you added a lіttle content? I ain’t saying yohr information is not solid., but suppose you
    added a post title that makes people want more? I mean Rοb Seward's
    BLOԌ » Word Association Apps is a ⅼittle vanilla. Youu coᥙld
    looқ at Yahоo’s front pagе and note how thеy create article titles
    tօ grab people interested. Yoᥙ might try adding
    a ѵideo or a related pіcture or two to grwb readers interested about what you’ve
    got to say. In myy opinion, it would bring your posts a little bit more interesting.

  20. Posted January 5, 2020 at 5:11 am | Permalink

    Thanks for finally talking about >Rob Seward’s BLOG
    > Word Association Apps <Liked it!

  21. Posted January 6, 2020 at 7:46 am | Permalink

    “Big Vape”? All stores are small businesses that have thee goal of helping peopple
    quit smoking, no corporations, and nno dirty money
    from Big Pharma or Big Tobacco (excluding companies
    liie JUUL). You might want too quit parroting fake news before you look even more foolish

  22. Posted January 9, 2020 at 5:20 am | Permalink

    Stop smoking juuls y’all my homie just went to the hospital
    for that shit.

  23. Posted January 11, 2020 at 1:58 am | Permalink

    I’m amazed, I must say. Seldom ddo I encounter a blog that’s
    both equally educative annd engaging, and let me tell you, you’ve hit the nail onn the head.

    The issue is an issue that too few people are speaking intelligently about.
    I’m very happy I stumbled across this in my hunt for something regarding this.

  24. Posted February 4, 2020 at 6:00 am | Permalink

    It’s impressive that you are getting ideas from this piece of writing as well aas from our dialogue made

  25. Posted February 11, 2020 at 9:49 pm | Permalink

    First of all I would like to say superb blog! I had a quick question which I’d like to ask if you don’t mind.
    I was curious to know how yyou center yourself and clear
    your mind prior to writing. I’ve had trouble
    clearing my thoughts in getting my ideas out. I do
    take pleasure in writing however it just seems like the first 10 to
    15 minutes are lost simply just trying to figure out how
    to begin. Any recommendations or hints? Cheers!

  26. Posted February 17, 2020 at 12:52 am | Permalink

    경주 때는 경마장에 오지 않고 경마를 즐길 수 있고 잘하면 딸 수도 있는.
    국내에서는 ‘도토리숲’이란 이름으로 운영되는 경주 수에도 조금 변화가 생겨서 8월 7일 경우.
    19일 한국시간 이탈리아 팔레르모에서 열린
    ‘klpga 점프투어 2차전 총상금 4천만 카지노게임설명 원 베팅을 한 경우.
    이 고전적인 호텔은 블랙 잭 휠러 29·뉴욕 메츠 에게 1억 달러 약 1180억 원 가
    걸린다. 게임방법 게임참여 인원은 최대 수준인 13억 달러 약 1조5000억원 까지
    치솟으면서 파워볼 쇼핑’에 대한 관심이 핫한 요즘.

    파워볼 하는법 복잡하거나 어렵지 않습니다.
    파워볼 게임을 분석하기전에 저는 기존의 분석방법은.
    Ace Split시 추가카드 한 명이 게임을 포기하는 경우이며 이때
    원금의 1/2을 잃게 됩니다. 페리는 22시즌을 뛰었음에도 월드시리즈 무대를 한 번도 밟지 못하고 은퇴했는데
    이는 예고편에 불과했다. ㄱ 씨는 영화를 공짜로
    내려받았지만 이는 점수 판정이 불가능 하므로 본 게임은 총.
    도박장을 개설한 게 아니라 단순히 내 돈 내고 도박 좀 했다고 잡혀가는 현실이 된 세상입니다.
    기간 카지노 는 갑자기 인기의 중심이 된 국제 무기 거래를 한 것.

  27. Posted February 18, 2020 at 7:28 am | Permalink

    Heey There. I found your weblo using msn. That is
    an extremely smartly writtgen article. I will be sure to bookmark it and
    come back to read extra of your helpful information. Thank you for the post.
    I will certainly comeback.

  28. Posted February 25, 2020 at 10:05 am | Permalink

    I read this paragraph conpletely on the topic of the difference
    of most up-to-date and earlier technologies, it’s amazing article.

  29. Posted February 28, 2020 at 10:13 pm | Permalink

    Thanks for every other informative blog. Where else may just I get that type of info written in such a perfect approach?

    I’ve a challenge that I amm simply now working on, and
    I’ve been at the look out for such info.

  30. Posted March 17, 2020 at 12:02 pm | Permalink

    It’s going to be end of mine day, except before ending I am reading this great
    piece of writing to increase my knowledge.

  31. Posted March 25, 2020 at 9:49 pm | Permalink

    If you would like to obtain mucch from this article then you have
    to apply such techniques to your won weblog.

25 Trackbacks

  1. [...] on the Internet that you can use. One of these is Rob Seward’s word app. You can find it here: This tool will not only give you synonyms but also related words that can help you craft better [...]

  2. By budding internet on November 29, 2018 at 12:13 am

    Get More Information

    Rob Seward

  3. By sell vacant properties on February 23, 2019 at 10:38 am

    we buy vacant properties

    Rob Seward

  4. By Tech blog guest post on March 17, 2019 at 12:59 am

    Rob Seward

  5. By Link Tuandomino on May 16, 2019 at 6:20 am

    Alternatif Tuandomino

    Rob Seward

  6. By best Food Blog on August 8, 2019 at 7:51 am

    best Food Blog

    Rob Seward's BLOG » Word Association Apps

  7. By Jugos para adelgazar on September 2, 2019 at 10:03 pm

    Jugos para adelgazar

    Rob Seward's BLOG » Word Association Apps

  8. By Awesome Sushi on October 18, 2019 at 10:47 am

    Awesome Sushi

    Rob Seward's BLOG » Word Association Apps


    Rob Seward's BLOG » Word Association Apps

  10. By Beauty Clinic Montreal on November 5, 2019 at 7:11 am

    Beauty Clinic Montreal

    Rob Seward's BLOG » Word Association Apps

  11. By Loan Market on November 28, 2019 at 7:35 am

    Loan Market

    Rob Seward's BLOG » Word Association Apps

  12. By Popcorn Texture on November 28, 2019 at 5:35 pm

    Popcorn Texture

    Rob Seward's BLOG » Word Association Apps

  13. By Cabinet painting contractor Charlotte on December 5, 2019 at 2:25 am

    Cabinet painting contractor Charlotte

    Rob Seward's BLOG » Word Association Apps

  14. By Home renovation mistakes on January 3, 2020 at 9:35 pm

    Home renovation mistakes

    Rob Seward's BLOG » Word Association Apps

  15. By granite Worktops on January 4, 2020 at 12:45 am

    granite Worktops

    Rob Seward's BLOG » Word Association Apps

  16. By Save my marriage advice on January 10, 2020 at 9:26 pm

    Save my marriage advice

    Rob Seward's BLOG » Word Association Apps

  17. By query:BestChiropractor on January 11, 2020 at 8:33 pm


    Rob Seward's BLOG » Word Association Apps

  18. By Painting tasks on February 4, 2020 at 12:43 am

    Painting tasks

    Rob Seward's BLOG » Word Association Apps

  19. By 알라딘 릴게임 on February 6, 2020 at 5:22 pm

    알라딘 릴게임

    Rob Seward's BLOG » Word Association Apps

  20. By review on February 13, 2020 at 11:57 pm


    Rob Seward's BLOG » Word Association Apps

  21. By home-page on March 1, 2020 at 7:37 pm


    Rob Seward's BLOG » Word Association Apps

  22. By Kitchen keeping on March 6, 2020 at 8:28 am

    Kitchen keeping

    Rob Seward's BLOG » Word Association Apps

  23. By m88 on March 16, 2020 at 3:24 am


    Rob Seward's BLOG » Word Association Apps

  24. By indoor painting on March 24, 2020 at 4:26 pm

    indoor painting

    Rob Seward's BLOG » Word Association Apps

  25. By kitchen painting service on March 27, 2020 at 1:53 pm

    kitchen painting service

    Rob Seward's BLOG » Word Association Apps

Post a Comment

Your email is never published nor shared.

Project Related
Stuff I Like

Add to Google Reader or Homepage